Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Scream (Tonight In New York And Every Night!)

Edvard Munch, "The Scream," 1895

By Andrew Russeth, Gallerist NY, 

    Sotheby’s announced today that it will offer an 1895 version of Edvard Munch’s iconic work "The Scream" at its Impressionist and modern art sale in New York in May. Though the house did not release an estimate, its head of Impressionist and modern art, Simon Shaw, said in a statement, “The recent success of masterpieces at Sotheby’s suggests that the price could exceed $80 million.”

    According to the Artnet price database, the record for a work by Munch at auction is $38.2 million, realized in Nov. 2008 at Sotheby’s New York, for an 1894 painting called "Vampire", which shows a man leaning into the torso of a woman, an image that the artist returned to throughout his career.

    Four original versions of "The Scream" are known to exist, according to Sotheby’s, though the piece being offered for sale is the only one not owned by a Norwegian museum. Its consignor is Petter Olsen, a member of a prominent shipping family that has owned the work for some 70 years. The work has been shown publicly only once in the U.S., decades ago, but will be on view in New York in April, in the days leading up to the sale.

    “I have lived with this work all my life, and its power and energy have only increased with time,” Mr. Olsen said in a statement. “Now however, I feel the moment has come to offer the rest of the world a chance to own and appreciate this remarkable work.”

NOTE I mostly dislike mass consumer articles about art and auction prices, but since it's now May 2nd and Sotheby's is auctioning "The Scream" tonight, I thought it would be ok to reprint Andrew Russeth's short February 21st article as "news" for those who might be interested and unaware.  I also like the quote from current picture owner Petter Olsen (for more information on Mr. Olsen and "The Scream," please see the linked article Here) and will give him the benefit of the doubt regarding the issue of his comment's sincerity.  "The Scream,"  of course, is unforgettable and therefore always worth mentioning because it so vividly reflects and expresses present and past truths.  

UPDATE:   Hammer Price = US $119,922,500 !  !  !

Petter Olsen viewing "The Scream" at Sotheby's in London.

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